Unlocking Lifelong Learning Through E-Heritage: Using Mobile Technologies in Genoa

Unlocking Lifelong Learning Through E-Heritage: Using Mobile Technologies in Genoa

Krassimira Paskaleva (University of Manchester, UK; Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Germany) and Maurizio Megliola (TXT e-solutions, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0053-9.ch007
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Abstract

Lifelong learning is often associated with the sociology and the economics of education. However, its broader and more holistic context, which includes learning through involvement in cultural activities, tourism, leisure, and recreation, is much less known. The relationship of this term to the rapidly changing world of Information and Communication Technologies and to various conceptions of interaction is also worthy of further investigation. This article seeks to shed light on that theme by presenting a novel IT platform involving mobile technologies that can enhance access and consumption of cultural heritage community resources. Drawing on material from the ISAAC European project, the article demonstrates how lifelong m-learning can be supported by an integrated e-destination platform that enables the user to build content and engage with that through a variety of applications over time. It concludes with a demonstrator system for the city of Genoa, Italy, to highlight the pathways to change.
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Introduction

Lifelong learning is often associated with the sociology and economics of education, but its broader and more holistic context that includes learning through involvement in cultural activities, tourism, leisure, and recreation is less known. The relationship of this term to the rapidly changing world of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and to the various conceptions of interaction that are central to these technologies is considered less frequently (Friesen & Anderson, 2004). In the cultural heritage and tourism domains the gap has been particularly great. This article seeks to shed light on the relationship between lifelong learning and the interactive technologies that can enhance access and consumption of cultural heritage goods and services using integrated platforms involving mobile technologies. In particular, it shows how lifelong learning can be enhanced by enabling the users to build heritage content and engage with that and other users through a variety of applications over time.

There is a vast body of literature on lifelong learning which emphasises the traditional context of learning occurring in the formal structures of the educational system. In this article, we take the broader, more holistic and rapidly emerging notion that this is a process of acquiring knowledge and skills throughout one’s whole life via education, training, work and general life experiences and is closely associated with time, space and place (Hargreaves, 2004; Sanchez & Lumbreras, 1995). The concepts of lifelong learning and knowledge should thus be laden with other content, people’s values, believes and identity (Gustavsson, 2002), involving a humanistic and democratic sense in which the resources brought from history and heritage are used and transformed to a new form. It could be argued therefore that lifelong learning is an open discourse that evolves in specific settings, like places visited for exploration and fun (e.g., tourism destinations), which requires putting space back on the map to ensure that the heritage of culture and knowledge of space and time is safeguarded and preserved for future generations. In this way lifelong learning produces a greater love of learning in diverse places of learning activity; libraries, museums, and cultural sites, for example (Edwards, 1997; Tujman & Bostrőm, 2002). In the knowledge-based society this entails using new and advanced information and communication technologies. Moreover, amidst a rapidly growing global network, individuals, organisations and societies should become more flexible in order to participate in the ongoing processes of lifelong learning any time and anywhere (Edwards & Usher, 2000), enabled by the new mobile technologies. We should move the learning, not the learners, as suggested recently by Kyle Jr. and Murray (2008). Transforming learning in the mobile age through interaction and creating learning communities was earlier proposed by Riger and Gay (1997). More recently, Koper and Tattersall (2004) endorsed the use of mobile computing to enhance lifelong learning in the domain of heritage through conversation, not just between heritage users—tourists and residents alike—but between them and the heritage and tourism providers (museums or heritage centres) using integrated platforms and mobile services (see Paskaleva, Azorin, & Chiabai, 2008).

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